I have been enjoying reading your series on the Web page about airlines in Florida.
"In addition to what was described in last weeks column, another one of my favorite memories of the many Sunday night dinners that I had with Greg Van Stavern at the Mexican Burro in South Tampa in the late 1970s and early to mid-1980s took place after our meal."
"If you are a regular to my column you may recall my references to a former colleague named Greg Van Stavern. Greg and I were practically life-long friends until about one year ago. In the course of our 32-year-long friendship, one of my favorite memories was having Sunday dinners back in the late '70s and early '80s at the now defunct Mexican Burro restaurant on Gandy Boulevard in South Tampa."
It is interesting - and I did not know if you knew this - but my Uncle John - owned and operated the Mexican Burro from the start. It started out on North Dale Mabry in the 1960's long there was much of anything North of I-275. It was actually out where the old Tampa stadium was -- just a dirt parking lot and little old building.
It was moved down to Gandy - some years later and it even burned down a couple times. Uncle John Williams was my Grandmother's sisters son. He is still alive today - at the age of 84 - or is it 85??. My mom recently visited him - but I cannot remember where he lives. She told me he had moved around lots after selling the property and closing the Burro.
My Aunt Mable was my Uncle John's main server and cook for almost 35 years. She was my Grandmother's sister and is also still alive at the age of 96?? Maybe it is 97. She is in a nursing home - but still hanging in there.
Her son (my Aunt Mable) Donald - opened another "Mexican Burro" up just South of Bushnell. It is south of the city - on 301 and ???? It has lots of the same type of atmosphere of the old Burro. I have not been there in years - but I think my Mom said they were still open.
It is funny - but thinking back - we used to have huge family reunions at the Restaurant there at Xmas and Thanksgiving. It was the only place that we could get everyone into - a house just did not make it - LOL!
Wow - those were the days. Somewhere - I have a pic of me and my cuz playing pool when I was like 11 or 12 years old - on a Xmas day.
WILLIAM MORIATY RESPONDS:
Hey there, John! Yes I do remember years back your telling me about the Burro being owned and operated by your relatives. I also definitely remember Johnny Williams on the old Burro business cards!
I'm going to forward your letter to Nolan for inclusion in this week's Lettercol. Believe it or not, the Mexican Burro was a legendary South Tmpa landmark that practically has legend status amongst many of our readers and old time South Tampa residents.
Nobody had better chips and guacamole! Im glad to hear the Williams are still alive and kickin'!
Who knows, maybe we can get you to do an article on what the members of the Stranger band are doing nowadays!
There will be three more chapters on Florida's commuter airlines, and I think I've saved the best for last, where I'll be digging into the history of Air Florida (this one's for you Mr. Beasley!) and PBA/Naples.
Take care of yourself and I'll see you soon! Oh and yes, I also remember the Burro burning down a few times (the running joke was that the food was too hot to handle and if it did that to a building think of what it's done to your colon!)
BRANDON ON JOSH "BLACK DOG" IRAQ/KERRY ARTICLE
Joshua,BOBBY FRISS UPDATE
How is John Kerry going to bring jobs back in a market that is expencing job growth? (Re: "The Black Dog Bites Back", PCR #216.--N) If he wants to increase the minimum wage to $6.65, wont he be forcing major corporations to counter that cost increase by reducing hiring, laying off existing workers or increase the costs of goods? He's preventing as many opportuniities as he is claiming he's improving.
He wants to suppress a bill to allow a worker the opt out of overtime to accrue comp time. He's still supporting unions and unionizing which are corrupt covers that offer little benefit to workers in this day and age.
Did I mention that the protestor of outsourcing is married to Teresa, wealthy benefactor of the Heinz co. which has 57 of its 79 factories overseas.
They're all so corrupt it's sick.
Good, grounded response on Iraq. We need to be there, but we need to have a plan and we need to force the hand of the UN to back us or back off.
JOSH RESPONDS: The thing to remember about John Kerry is the fact that he is very flip-floppy on some subjects so we do not exactly know what the hell he is going to do. ---Josh Montgomery
Lots of great shows coming up for the band this summer. We'll be back in Key West on May 24-30 for our annual Memorial week stay at Sloppy Joe's. This is always a packed week and the crazies really come out to play. Then we head north to Wisconsin for a show on Water St. in downtown Milwaukee on June 4th at the Riverslash Festival. June 5th takes us even farther north to Hortonville, WI for a bike festival at Ray's Cycle and Hard Tail Saloon, outside, under the stars. June 11 and 12 we're back at our new favorite venue Club 152, on Beale St. in historic Memphis, TN. And don't forget we close out the month back in Milwaukee for Summerfest on June 26th. Hope to see some of you out at these great events.
To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com. Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan